Thursday, December 25, 2008

Western Washington is Buried!

I haven't downloaded any picture yet to share. Just wanted to mention that, instead of leaving Utah on Christmas Day like I planned I left on Christmas Eve. The forecast for Christmas Day in SLC looked awful and I couldn't risk getting stranded and not making it home for the mail route on Friday. I wasn't the only one desperate to get from SLC to WA. Check out this story. Drew found it and laughed out loud and the lengths people go to either get out of SLC or into WA. You decide which.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Douglas Charles Conrow

Most people who read this blog are already aware that Matt's dad passed away on Dec 17. We just finished writing the obituary so I thought it would be a good idea to post it here. Thank you for all your kind messages. I will be returning to WA on Christmas Day and returning to UT for the service on Jan 3. Matt will be staying in UT until after the service. I don't have much time to spend on the computer here in UT so I will write more about the experience once I am home.

Douglas Charles Conrow
Park City, UT

Doug was born January 26th 1936 in Big Timber, MT the son of John Moore and Ruth Ryan Conrow. He was raised in Butte MT and attended the Universities of Montana and Utah where he was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity. In 1964 he graduated with honors from the masters program in social work at the University of Utah and then returned to Montana to provide public welfare services and receive a promotion to the state director of training for the Department of Public Welfare. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) his career led him to working with families of the Shoshone and Bannock tribes on the Ft. Hall, ID Indian reservation where he founded the Ft. Hall Boy’s Club and left a piece of his heart with the people there. In 1969 he was recruited as Assistant Director to help found Weber County Mental Health Center in Ogden. In 1977 he became the Executive Director and for the next 11 years Doug was respected for his innovative programs, creative problem solving, and dynamic work environment. He was selected to be one of 25 mental health administrators (from 2000 applicants) to participate in an advanced training program offered by the National Institute of Mental Health. He held the title Diplomat in Clinical Social Work. In 1990 he moved with his family to Salt Lake City, UT where he continued his mental health calling through private practice psychotherapy and the development of programs at Valley Mental Health and the Utah State Department of Corrections. He was especially effective as a counselor in the mental health and women’s facilities at the Draper Prison. The common thread throughout his professional career was his belief in leveling the playing field and honoring the value of all humanity. In 1998 he retired to enjoy his family and friends as a resident of Park City, UT.

Doug’s way of divining the contents of a person’s heart and the careful and compassionate wisdom he offered as a mentor will be sorely missed by each and every person who knew him. Rare was the encounter with Doug that did not include his quick wit, easy laugh and generous hug. He had a great passion for lively discussions with friends and family and held to the belief that everything is better when complemented by unusual food and exotic creatures.

Doug was a restless and eternal questioner who delighted in the process of critical thought and in continually challenging conventional wisdom. He retained a sense of wonder and excitement at the world around him until the very end.

Doug passed away gently in his sleep at his home in Park City on the morning of Wednesday, Dec 17 2008. He was surrounded by family who sent him on his way filled with love.

A lively, old-fashioned, Irish wake was held at the family home on Saturday, Dec 20. He was well attended by family and friends, gathered to celebrate his life.

Doug leaves behind his wife, Nancy, three sons, John Conrow (Big Fork, MT), Mark (Jovita) Conrow (Ogden, UT), Matthew (Michelle) Conrow (Winlock, WA), and daughter Kate Conrow (Salt Lake City, UT), grandchildren, Tairah, Ashlee, Jace, Paige, Bryan, Damon, Chandler, Javier, Omar, Lance and Austin, and 5 great grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister Linda (Pat) McKissick and brother Steve Hancock, esteemed family member Dar (Win) Jensen, a circle of lifelong friends and his special feline companion Bronwyn. Doug is preceded in death by his parents.

The family would like to give special recognition to all the people who gave such extraordinary care and attention to Doug during his years of unexplained illness and his final battle with pancreatic cancer.

A memorial service will be held e on Saturday, January 03, 2009 at 12 noon at Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church, 4595 North Silver Springs Drive, Park City, UT 84098

In lieu of flowers, and to honor Doug’s commitment to research and helping others. the family requests any donations be made to Huntsman Cancer Institute

It was the little things in life that made him larger than life.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Good Riddance 2008

I am going to go on record as saying that 2008 was not the best year for me. Sure wonderful, new, interesting experiences were had but, as the year draws to a close, I feel worn out and thin. As I write this Matt is in Utah with his dad who was overtaken with an incredibly fast moving pancreatic cancer. It was discovered the week after Thanksgiving and we are all fearful that he doesn't have much time left. And by not much time I am speaking mere days. So, between Grandpa's passing, Doug's failing health and some other things I don't feel like sharing, the last quarter of 2008 blows. I guess it is coloring my mental review of the whole year. I should go back and read the blog from earlier days to remember that there were jollier times. I plan to fly to Utah in the next day or two, weather permitting.

Here is a video that makes me laugh. I am going to be reciting the following over and over: I am the penguin. I am the penguin.